Chicken Enchilada Cups

“Those are one of the best things you’ve ever made.”

That’s what my wife Molly said about these simple Chicken Enchilada Cups. What high praise! I must admit they are quite good.

We’re not the first people to create a recipe like this, but we’ve put our own spin on it here. And, as always, we give you several different options to make this recipe as homemade or as simple as possible.

Chicken Enchilada Cups

What You Need:

  • 1 crust recipe – We divide our own homemade flour tortilla dough for the crusts, but you could also use store-bought Crescent Rolls or something similar for the same purpose.
  • 2 cans chicken – You can use fresh pulled chicken, but we love the simplicity and shred-ability of canned chicken.
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn – Fresh corn off the cob during the summer or a frozen steamer bag works here, too.
  • 1 cup cheese – We loved a Quesadilla blend of shredded cheese we found at Walmart, but any cheese you like can go here. You can even grate your own.
  • enchilada sauce – You can buy store-bought sauce, but we found and modified a great little recipe for homemade sauce that we’ve included below.

What You Do:

  1. Prepare your crusts in the different compartments of a muffin pan. You can make homemade tortilla dough, divide into eight parts and press into each spot, or you can take something like Crescent Rolls and shape each piece into its own crust.
  2. Cook your empty crusts at 350 for about 8 minutes, just until no longer doughy. If you don’t cook the crusts before filling them, you might end up with soggy, doughy cups when they’re done baking. Set pan of crusts aside to cool slightly.
  3. Make your enchilada sauce (if using homemade). Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot on medium. In a mixing bowl, combine 3 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a pinch of cinnamon and black pepper to taste. Once oil is warm but not bubbling, slowly whisk in blended dry ingredients. Once the mixture is combined, whisk in 2 tablespoons tomato paste, followed by 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Thoroughly mix all ingredients until the sauce is even.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine drained corn, black beans and chicken.
  5. Add enchilada sauce until desired consistency and sauce-saturation with the beans, chicken and corn.
  6. Mix in cheese and combine well.
  7. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to divide the filling mixture into your pre-baked crusts.
  8. Bake cups on 350 for 7-8 minutes, until everything has melted together nicely.
  9. Cool a minute in the pan or on a rack but serve while still warm.
  10. You can add a dollop of sour cream on top of each cup with some fresh green onion or cilantro if you like. You can pick these up and eat them with your hands, or you can use a fork or spoon. Whatever you like is the way to go!

NOTE: You will end up with extra filling mixture. You can use additional Crescent Rolls or tortilla dough to make more crusts for a bigger yield. Otherwise, you can expect 8 to 10 full cups and leftover filling and, possibly, extra sauce. For another similar but different meal, we made another recipe of tortilla dough but rolled it all out into a pizza-style crust. Then we spread our leftover enchilada sauce on top and sprinkled our leftover cheese-bean-chicken-corn mixture to make a Southwest-style pizza. We encourage you to be creative!

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